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New Olympus E-M5 news roundup…


Good Morning! I had a busy week and I am now catching up with all news and emails you sent me. Meanwhile check the video on top and the next two links if you still need to see more about the new E-M5: Hands-on at Expertreviews (Click here) and Trustedreviews (Click here).

E-M5 preorder search(!) links at Amazon, B&H, Adorama, Olympus US store, FocusCamera, eBay.



  • Kaspar

    Will we get the grip for free for a limited time? Thats what the lady in the video tells us…

  • Kaspar

    Its only for the UK. :( I want that same deal!

    • Sandy


      • Ke

        We pay a lot more in the UK than those in the US do. So the added gift just balances it out.

        • REVENGE

          +1, but it’s nice to see them give you some extras.

    • Gabi


  • No-one says anything about the viewfinder viewing experience. Does it compare to the grand view of a full frame D700 say, or more to the claustrophobic view through a E-410? This does matter a lot, as I won’t be buying this camera if I have to look through a tunnel when composing my images.

    • Mar

      Grand VF of a FF D700? Haha, D700’s VF is not that grand at all.
      It’s dark and doesn’t cover 100%.

      In my experince with VF-2, it’s close to 5Dmk2 in size, but 100%. It’s a very good viewfinder.

      The one on OM-D is improved over the VF-2, so I’d say it’s a very good viewfinder if you don’t mind EVFs.

      • I is absolute agree!

      • Ru Elpser

        D700 might not compare to a F6 viewfinder but it s much bigger than anything fourturds offers. E5 viewfinder is a joke compared to D700, vf2 equals about the size of e3/e5 finders but with fluckery grainy digital view, and false colours. So for the question above It s bigger than e410 but nowhere near d700

        • Neonart

          Having used all 3 side by side I can tell you the difference is not so stark.

          The D700 is bigger, but tends to be dark and has 95% coverage. The E5 is smaller, but very clear and with 100% coverage. The VF-2 is extremely useful and can display changes to your image, something no OVF can do. It’s not flickery and grainy. In fact most people are very surprised how nice it is. At the end, it made no difference. All three cameras did really great and great photos where obtained from each.

          These comparisons are very thoughtless however. If you like the D700, thats cool. It’s a great camera. But do remember its a $2700 body. If it didn’t do certain things better than a $1600 or $1000 body, then it’d be a problem. Once you factor in the price, the size & the weight, your comparing apples to watermelons. Just silly.

          • Stu5

            The VF2 is grainy, no question about that. It’s better than Panasonic but not as good as Sony but all three are far from perfect. Plus it does give false colours which it would do as it is not a calibrated screen. Yes you can see the changes to your image but in a completely un-calibrated way. So you can’t trust what you see in the viewfinder to be what you are going to see in a final print or on a decent calibrated screen. Also the quality will vary depending how bight the scene is you are photographing. This is why Olympus have stated it is still not there for professional use yet.

            • Agent00soul

              So the colours in an optical viewfinder is always what you are going to see in a final print?

              • jim

                +1 optical vf have absolutly no calibration or connection with final image…. EVF colours are way closer – as in at least its showing you somthing of the final image…

                • Ru Elpser

                  Evf is the Ovf nobody wanted and nobody asked for

                  Dispay is good enough to check standard settings like wb.

                  An ovf connects with what you shoot, an evf doesnt in my eyes

                  • I’ll disagree with this.

                    I want the camera to show me what it is seeing. OVF’s don’t really do that: they show you the optical image of the lens bounced off of mirrors. The EVF shows me exactly what’s going on in the sensor itself.

                    A good OVF is a wonderful thing, no doubt. But frankly I’d rather have a good EVF than a bad OVF, and frankly, most OVF’s that I can afford are bad.

                  • If you use OVF, but out focusing screen, need you trust on AF to camera for focus anyway, so this is more talk if taste and please.

                • Anyway, in a EVF we can change colour and brightness.

            • Ru Elpser

              Where i live e5 and d700 cost the same, and put it as you like the d700 is better and brighter than e5 which is in the d90 class of ovf

              • Mar

                That’s not true at all.

                First, D700 is about 30-40% more expensive (not to mention system price) almost everywhere in the world, it doesn’t have working anti-dust system, nowhere close to E-5 nor is sealed as well.

                As for the VF quality, E-5 has got much brighter and sharper OVF and it has 100% coverage unlike D700.

                Sure, it’s not as big, but the difference is not that big as D700 is mostly just wider due to different aspect.

                D700’s semi-transparent LCD impairs it’s brightness compared to more traditional OVFs.

                • Vlad

                  20% more expensive here in Finland.

              • Anonymous

                mirror cameras are dinosaurs, and glass belongs in the lens, not in the body :-)

            • Neonart

              Do you own a VF2? Used one extensively? Any difference in un-calibrated color can be easily tweaked in PP. Usually its fine from experience. It shouldn’t be much different from what you see in an OVF and the result Nikon (or any other brand) spits out in the final image. Another silly complaint.
              Fact is the EVF can come very close and you can adjust its color anyhow. It’s also higher-res than the 3″ LCDs found on some of the premium cameras. Its perfectly useful.
              These whiny complaints are truly amazing. Here we have a $999 camera, with a weather sealed body, a fantastic lens selection, IBS, great image quality (apparently), great EVF, nice dials and controls, expandable, solid & good looking. And all the whiners have to say is the EVF is this or that. BUY A D800! Leave this site, go to Amazon, and buy a D800. All your dreams will come true for $3000.

              • +1 :-)

              • Mauro


              • caver3d

                Absolutely, agree. Amen. I am truly sick and tired of all the idiotic whining here and in DPReview. They want “this and that” and then want to pay no more than the price of an E-PL1. Ridiculous.

                And then they will tell you “Oh, we like to speculate on this forum – that’s what’s its for”. Yeah, right. What it’s for is “intelligent” discussions, not this silliness.

    • Thanks, guys! I seem to have the answers I wanted. Of course the D700 will be different than a cheaper camera because of the full frame and the price, even I know that. But larger viewing area will give a different composing experience than a smaller view, and I was not comparing the OM-D with the E3/5, but the D700 and the E-410. If the OM-D somehow is on par with the E3 which I own, I’m very happy. It’s just that I have noe experience with EVF viewing and wonder just how it would work on the OM-D. Can’t wait to try it out.

  • This morning I was talking to Merchant City Cameras in Glasgow, Scotland. They are the only shop in the West of Scotland who stock a decent range of Olympus M4/3 stuff, the other local shops Jessops and Jacobs, both part of national chains, only stock cameras no lenses or accessories in their Glasgow branches. I asked about the E-M5 and the grip offer and was told that the Olympus rep was in yesterday and told them that he can’t take orders from them for the E-M5 and they will not be able to participate in the free grip offer as that is only for key accounts.

    Needless to say the guys at Merchant City Cameras are not exactly enamoured with Olympus U.K. and are now considering weather they will continue to stock Olympus products. As they said why should they support Olympus when all Olympus are doing is pissing on them from a great height. So the probable result of Olympus’s great marketing strategy for the E-M5 is that there will be no one stocking Olympus M4/3 lenses and accessories in the west of Scotland.

    Well done Olympus a brilliant own goal.

    • Fan

      “only for key accounts” – wow what an insult for smaller shops

    • Geoff

      If that’s the case regarding Merchant City, then Olympus for all intent and purpose will have no outlet in Scotland, as in my experience Jessops and Jacobs are not even interested in Olympus other than cheap point and shoots. Jacob in Cardiff particularly will try and talk anyone out of purchasing Oly, even by staff who consider you as a valuable loyal customer. I would be more inclined to contact Olympus in Southend to find out why Merchant City are seemingly ‘black listed’, experience tells me that the staff at Southend are most helpfull, both underlings and management. As regards the promotional offers, as has already been stated they come from Olympus direct with proof of purchase, which might mean a genuine British item as opposed to a ‘Grey Import’, from experience I know this is normally the case, as I lost out on the OM-4/3rds adapter many years ago, for that very reason.

      • I’m sure they will be contacting Olympus U.K.. As they are not allowed to order the camera then obviously they can’t be part of the promotion. From what I can gather they are only accepting orders from Pen Elite Stockists and other key accounts such as Amazon. The joke is that Jacobs in Glasgow are a Pen Elite Stockist and they carry next to no stock. If you go onto Olympus’s website you are directed to Jacobs as the main stockist. Then when you go into the Jacobs shop they try and switch sell you on to another brand. I love Olympus’s products but someone should give the U.K. sales and marketing dept. a good kick up the arse.

        • @Ian C
          I’ll mention it to Mark Thackara of Olympus at Focus on Imaging at Birmingham NEC next week for you…

          • I’m sure the guys at Merchant City Cameras will appreciate it.

        • This isn’t marketing, its sales. Marketing is finding out what the product should be, and shepherding it to market. Sales is about getting the distribution channels stuffed and booking orders. Its sales that needs to be strung up by their thumbs. Marketing is doing its job very well.

    • @Ian C
      Jessops is on it’s financial knees, so I don’t think Olympus is in a position to deal with them, bit surprised at the Merchant City Cameras decision maybe they don’t have the volume…

      • Olympus were quite happy to accept their orders for the lenses, viewfinders and pen cameras. It just strikes me as crazy that the only retailer that has fully supported the Olympus Pen range in the west of Scotland isn’t allowed to order the new camera when those that stock next to nothing from the range are.

        Jessops are in a financial mess but they will have the E-M5.

        • Fan

          They can probably order the E-M5 too but later.

    • bilgy_no1

      I wouldn’t believe that story off the bat. These Olympus offerings just require you to register, and send in a form and receipt. They don’t shut out legitimate stores.

      • But if Olympus won’t let them order the camera how can they take part in the promotion.

    • Stu5

      This has happened for decades in photographic retail. Key accounts with any camera brand will get the best deals. Merchant City Cameras would be mad not to stock Olympus because of this. If they do what will happen is people will go into the shop say ‘can I look at this model of Nikon, Canon and Olympus and compare them’ the shop will say ‘we don’t keep Olympus’ The customer will walk out the door and go to a shop that does have all three camera brands in stock and buy from there. They might even buy a Canon but they won’t buy it from Merchant City Cameras as they could not be bothered to stock all three brands. I have seen this happen in the UK in the past with one shop and their sales went down and in the end the manager was replaced and all three brands were kept again and sales started to pick up within days. You just cannot afford to do what Merchant City Cameras are considering as the chances are it will hit all their camera sales not just Olympus.

      • They were not complaining about others getting the best deal. I’m sure they appreciate that there will be discounts for those that have a higher turnover. It’s the fact that they can’t order the camera at all when they have been the only shop in the area that has actually supported Olympus by keeping a decent range of Olympus products in stock. I doubt if they will stop stocking Olympus completely but they might well say we’ll just do the same as the other shops in the area and stock the cameras, or at least the ones Olympus are willing to sell to them, so people can see them but not keep the lenses or accessories. I just think it’s a dam shame that Olympus will not supply the one store in the area that has stocked their lenses and accessories. The probable result is there will be nowhere in the west of Scotland where people will be able to see the lenses and accessories and the ones who will suffer most are us Olympus users.

        • Stu5

          But that practice has gone on for decades in the industry. It’s nothing new and as a shop you learn to deal with it. The largest dealers will always get the cameras first when new models come out. In this case though there is a free deal for the client which means the shop will miss out as they are not selling enough equipment. Jessops, Jacobs and London Camera Exchange Group have just got much more buying power and will get the best prices and they will get priority when new models come out.

          In the past when I was in retail I had to play the game with Nikon. I had to order a lot more of a new model than I wanted just to get one or two into stock to sell. That worked fine for a few weeks until one day Nikon UK got a huge amount into stock and I got a delivery of 10 cameras in. They would not take them back so there was only one thing I could do. Cut the price so it was the lowest in that part of the country and advertise like mad. I just broke even on the camera bodies but made the profit by making sure every body went out with one or two lenses. Nikon were fuming at the price I was selling the camera at. I just said ‘well you should have taken them back when I said, you have brought this on yourself’.

          If they drop the lens range it’s going to be them that suffers as a shop. People will just buy the lenses mail order.

          As soon as Olympus has enough stock they will start supplying the smaller dealers but by that time the offer will be over for the customers. Hence why they won’t take orders. They have to supply their big dealers first. All the other camera companies will do this from time to time and have done so.

          • With all due respect, ordering 10 bodies just makes you another small dealer just like Merchant City Cameras. How would you have felt if you weren’t allowed to order your Nikon bodies?

            • Stu5

              10 was not when it was their flagship model camera. That would be like someone having 10x D4 camera bodies in stock now. Plus the overall stock of Nikon productions was huge.

              As for the situation they are in now… you deal with it. Dealing with it would not be dropping a whole brand. All that does is cost you money. I would cut the local rep out and call their sales manager or go higher or try and buy jointly with another independent camera shop of two as that gives you more buying power or go to a UK wholesaler who has more buying power from Olympus and buy from them.

              I have just looked at their site and they appear to be a very small shop. Only 4 micro 43 lenses on their website. Not a Pen Elite stockist. Don’t have an E5 on their website. Only one 43 lens. I would be amazed if this is the first time they have run into this sort of problem with a new camera from a company. Any camera company with a major new product with short supplies (which is very common with a new camera) will supply their largest dealers first and in this case when that is done the free grip offer will be over.

              • Geoff

                To back up Stu’s comment, as a “good” Olympus dealer, Merchant City have the following.

                Olympus E-P1, E-PL3 + Twin Kit, E-P3. 4 Units.

                Lumix GF1 x 2, GF2 x 2, G3 x 2, GX1X, GH2. 8 Units.

                Nikon V1 + J1. 2 units.

                OK they may well hold numbers of each model but looks to me as if Lumix is their main line and it is interesting they hold both Nikons yet no Nikon full size bodies.

          • DR

            “As soon as Olympus has enough stock they will start supplying the smaller dealers but by that time the offer will be over for the customers.”

            So you are confirming that Olympus has put in place an artificial promotion that will piss off all their small dealers and create confusion in the market.

            On top of that, it is completely against sound marketing to heavily discount a new product at launch, and that is exactly what throwing away free grips is doing.

            Someone at Olympus UK sales and marketing needs to be shown the door.

            IanC is right. This is a stupid marketing move that biases against Olympus friendly stores at a time when more and more mirrorless brands are competing in the market.

            And Stu5? I can assure you that people in the west of Scotland shopping at Merchant City Cameras for m43 will be shopping there because of what they see in the shop, not because of what might or might not be included on the website.

            Its just another stupid Olympus move.

  • Swejk

    Beautiful, beautiful video, I could not focus my eyes on the camera … ; °)

  • BLI

    9 fps with the IBIS turned off (video)? Is that correct? Info so far has only said that IBIS must be turned off to get 4.2 fps with continuous tracking focus.

    • Fan

      I doubt that IBIS has anything to do with the number of fps. I believe that IBIS is a totally independent unit and it can operate regardless of what the rest of the camera is doing. Unless maybe the fast shutter speed disturbs the motion sensors?

      • bli

        The specs say max 4.2 fps w/ continuous tracking focus when IBIS is turned off, and 3fps w/ IBIS turned on. Perhaps due to computational load? But I haven’t seen that the IBIS matters when using continuous shooting w/ single focus (as the lady claims).

        • That would be my guess. Next generation of processor cores should up those numbers.

  • Starred

    It is really annoying when in one country you get the grip for free and in another country you have to pay a lot of cash at time of introduction :-(

    • Fan

      You can view it as an extra opportunity to help the camera division become profitable and develop beautiful new lenses and cameras for us …

    • bli

      Well, the prices are different, too. In UK, the prices are higher than in some other countries, I think.

    • Yea, UK prices are much higher than other countries. They deserve the grip for the price they are paying!

  • adriaantie

    OOOO what to do: Wait for EM5 or buy Nex7 kit…………..

    • alexander

      this is the question.
      -> Body & SW from Sony / Sensorsize (Format) & Lenses from Oly!

      Sony brins soon new small lens.
      In case of doubt choose Olympus I would recomend because of the whole packeage.Sooner or late the will add more key functions (which you already have in the NEX 7) :-)

  • tmrgrs

    I’ll take the lower price for a body only E-M5 here in the US. I’m also thinking that some of these free grips in the UK will be up on Ebay at some point where I can snag one cheap compared to the $300 price at Olympus USA.

  • MK

    she did a good job but the best part of the video is her using the body shutter after she attaches the grip

  • Bob B.

    I keep replaying the video where she shows us how the image stabilization works. Is it just me?

  • yossarian

    new preorder opportunity in The Netherlands:

    • Starred

      Cameranu heeft hem ook staan. Zelfde prijs…

    • Arno

      Pfff, eerst IRL zien voordat ik kan kiezen, zwart of zilver…

      • Starred

        Lastig, maar denk toch zilver

    • Anonymous

      enig idee wanneer ze daar binnenkomen? vanuit duitsland zou het midden april zijn

    • enig idee wanneer ze daar binnenkomen? vanuit duitsland zou het midden april zijn.

  • Biggstr

    Just did a run through of the DxO lens database. The lens scores are not stand alone; the scores are completely camera dependent. If you want a lens to get a higher score, then the lesson is to test it on something like the Nikon D3. If you want a relatively low score, test it on something like the Nikon D40X. This suggests that the lens scores are sensor as well as lens dependent and therefore the scores are not good indications regarding the quality of the lenses themselves. The MFT lenses were not tested on the latest Olympus or Panasonic cameras and the results show. It will be interesting on how well they will score on the E-M5 or the new Panasonic camera due out soon … or, I should more correctly say, how well they will score on their sensors.

    • > This suggests that the lens scores […]

      … that DxO is hard at work to also fsck up the lens benchmark.

      And I only wanted to comment that DxO is about to become useful.

      This guys live in parallel universe – better to leave them to themselves.

  • Max

    Why do English people have such bad teeth? Very strange? It can’t be the tea?

    • BLI

      Eh? What makes you come up with such a broad generalization? In this forum?
      Btw: poor teath in a population is often a result of poor water quality.

  • flangad

    Hey! EM-5 is a great product… but there is something else that is great in this video : Katie is absolutly Lovely :)

  • BLI

    See for PP’s test of E-M5 IBIS based on a preproduction camera with firmware 1.0.

    • TL;DR: it works quite well. Less effective at WA, surprisingly effective at tele. Maybe not 5 stops for Pekka, but still very good.

      • Miroslav

        It’s less effective at the wide end because it has to compensate body movements that have much lower frequencies. Effectively, with 12 mm lens, 5 stop compensation equals to almost one second and that’s where movements of the complete body ( not only handshake ) come into play…

        The other interesting thing is that firmware 1.0 is out – that means we’ll see some reviews soon.

        • BLI

          The effectiveness probably depends quite a bit on hand/body shake. I tried to test systematically VR I on Nikon’s 18-200 on APS-C sized sensors some years ago. Didn’t see much difference w and w/o VR.

  • 43shot

    No grip in the US for free. I can see this offered once the camera is out for 6-8 months or if Panasonic introduces a GF3.

  • Stopkidding

    That is the cutest reviewer of any camera site. Finally someone to match up to the beauty of the camera. And she is good at her job too!!!

  • Ru Elpser

    I really like the way the dials are implemented, finally 2 dials on a pen, great

    • Gawker

      True been waiting 5 years for 2 dials

  • Androo

    She’s nice enough but does she have to start every sentence with “Now…”?

    The camera looks better in the hand than I expected.

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